FAQs About FAQShop

This page contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about FAQShop. If you still don’t find the answer to your question then please contact us.


The principle goal of FAQShop is to provide the answers to all questions relating to Microsoft SCCM, and it’s related technologies.

There are currently several information repositories for SCCM but each has its own limitations:

  • Microsoft Docs Library – Seen as the prime source of information as it’s written by Microsoft, but lacks screenshots in the majority of cases, “real world” experience of using the product, and troubleshooting information.
  • Technical Books – Typically either written on pre-release code or after a product ships resulting in a delay of several months before being available. As they’re static, books quickly become out of date and very few are updated as Microsoft releases updates to SCCM. This is even more relevant given Microsoft’s release cadence with Current Branch of a new release every 3-4 months.
  • Blogs/ Websites – Everyone is writing about the same thing which leaves whole areas of the product neglected. Plus there is the issue of trustworthiness of the information unless the author has a proven reputation.
  • Internet Search Engines – Again the issue of quality and users having to wade through the results trying to find a solution that works and is officially supported by Microsoft.

We are passionate about making our content easily accessible, unlike some other websites that just create an SCCM “bucket” and leave it to you to try and find the information you are looking for. One of the key principles of FAQShop has always been to break things down into simple Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which answer your question. No bombarding you with a whole bunch of irrelevant or ambiguous information. Just the answer.

By grouping related FAQs together we make it easy for you to see all content related to a particular topic and our entire Knowledge Base is easily searchable.

As for our Vision, that’s simple – to create a single, centralised repository of ALL SCCM and relevant related information that allows you to Design, Install, Configure, Administer and Troubleshoot the product.

This is a MAMMOTH task, but we are up for the challenge. But for us to do this, FAQShop HAS to become our fulltime day job.  However, like you, we too have bills to pay. So for this to happen, we need our content to pay, and that’s why we need this to be a partnership between us.

We’re more than happy to write the content you need to make your life easier. But the bottom line is:

We need as many of YOU as possible to subscribe to allow us to dedicate our time to creating the content you want rather than having to do a job that pays our bills and prevents us from focusing on FAQShop.

Our content comes from a variety of sources:

  • Personal experience/ use of the product – As an SCCM consultant/Microsoft MVP working with the product since 1998, I have gained significant knowledge which I love to share.
  • Projects/Engagements for some of the largest implementations – During my time working with the product I’ve been lucky enough to work for companies such as Microsoft, HP, EDS and others on some of the largest SCCM implementations in the world. These have given me a unique insight/knowledge of the product.
  • Microsoft SCCM Product Group – As an MVP for the past 14 years, I have direct access to the Microsoft SCCM Product Group which allows me to not only be given access to privileged information, but also the ability to ask questions from the very people designing, developing and supporting the product.
  • From reviewing the product documents – Reading through the official Microsoft documentation I’m looking for gaps, ambiguity, contradictions, things that aren’t clear and then generating content that addresses these issues accordingly (of course giving feedback to Microsoft as well so they can improve their documentation).
  • Trying out “what if” scenarios – For example, if the documentation mentions a prerequisite, we like to see what happens if that prerequisite is not met. We then document the result so should you forget to do the same thing, or not realise a prerequisite exists, we’ve already got the error documented, and more importantly what you need to do to fix it.


As mentioned in the Where does the content come from that is on FAQShop? FAQ, our content comes from a variety of sources.

All of our content is uniquely generated, we do not just simply copy, paste and publish content from other sources. Nor do we simply to build page after page of links. All of our content is reviewed to ensure it is accurate and fit-for-purpose which cannot be said about some of the content available from other sources.

Potentially yes.

However, by subscribing to FAQShop, you gain access to our Knowledge Base containing SCCM and related technology FAQs that is unmatched elsewhere. Plus all of our content is written and reviewed by Cliff who has almost 20 years experience of working with the product, on some of the largest implementations in the world, on behalf of companies such as Microsoft, HP, EDS, and others. Cliff has also been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Enterprise Mobility (which includes SCCM), for the past 14 years.

FAQShop is unique in that is breaks the information down into a series of FAQs with related FAQs grouped on the same page and then classified under one of the following headings:

  • What’s New – What is new in an area/release of SCCM.
  • Design and Planning – For example “What are the prerequisites for installing SCCM?”, “Which versions of SQL can I use?”
  • Installation and Configuration – For example “How do I install SCCM?”, “How do I configure Inventory?
  • Administration – For example “How do I run a Report?”, “How do I check backups have been successful?”
  • Troubleshooting – For example “I’ve got Error xyz – how do I fix it?

We also don’t assume anything.  If you need to perform a task outside of SCCM, for example in Windows, SQL, IIS, etc. we will walk you through exactly what you need to do.

Screenshots are included where relevant to remove any ambiguity and using the FAQ format allows us to get right to the point without overloading you with irrelevant information.

Our content also:

  • Includes almost 20 years of “real world” experience of using the product including hints, tips, gotchas, solutions to problems, etc. as well as Microsoft published Best Practice.
  • Covers not just SCCM, but ALL supporting technologies. As SCCM relies on several other Microsoft products and technologies on a variety of Microsoft operating systems you may not be familiar with, these are also covered.
  • Assumes nothing and walks you through EXACTLY what to do. The problem with some content “out there” is that it makes assumptions the reader is familiar with the topic to be able to complete it, without detailing the exact steps to be taken.  Some may argue why detail everything when some may be familiar with the process? But based on my experience, it is far better to cover everything, than make assumptions which could lead to problems.  For those familiar with the topic, they can skip over any content they already know, or quickly read it to verify their understanding is correct/they are doing things in the right way.
  • Is written in the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format for quick answers to common questions, with background information as required. The problem with the majority of other sources is that by writing about a topic “end to end”, it is often challenging to pick out the key points/required information. By adopting the FAQ format, direct questions with a “Yes/ No” answer are posted.  If the answer is “Yes” the process can be detailed/referred out to as relevant. Likewise, if the answer is “No” further background information/references can be provided.
  • Includes content based on purposefully breaking the product. For example, if the product has a prerequisite. What happens if the prerequisite is not met?  Is an error displayed or written to a log?  Does the product not function as expected?  From experience, people only tend to read documentation when something breaks.  By purposefully “breaking” the product and documenting the result, if you encounter the same situation you can find out not only the cause of the issue but also how to fix it.
  • Details how to install updates to the product.
  • Details what happens “behind the scenes.” A lot of what happens in the product happens inside “black boxes.”  Working with Microsoft, trying to understand what happens inside these black boxes is included wherever possible.
  • Increases your productivity as all of the information you need is in a single, trusted location.

There are several reasons why you should signup for a free 14-day, cancel anytime trial as detailed on the Subscribe page.

Subscriptions and Payments

Since founding FAQShop back in 2003, I have tried to provide high-quality FAQs related to SMS/SCCM for free which I hope you have enjoyed and found useful.

However, my best attempts to source sufficient funding to allow the content to remain free over the years have proved unsuccessful. For many years I have personally had to pay for the costs associated with running the site.

In 2016, I was faced with two clear choices:

  • Continue to be frustrated by publishing content “ad-hoc” as time allows.
  • Charge for my content using the monies raised to pay for my time to generate even more content.

Given the ever-increasing complexity of SCCM and Microsoft’s quarterly updates to Current Branch, coupled with my passion for writing about the SCCM, I took the only viable decision – to charge for access to my content.

Now I am up to the task of creating a single, centralised repository of ALL SCCM and relevant related information that allows you to Design, Install, Configure, Administer, and Troubleshoot SCCM. But I cannot achieve this without your financial support to give me the time to create and maintain the high-quality content you need and deserve.


Anyone can browse the site for free and see the extracts without committing to a subscription. We want to ensure our information will answer your question.  Plus, certain pages of information (such as lists of Microsoft Knowledgebase articles), and others which have been created with the help and support of the community, will remain free.

Of course not.

We offer a free 14-day, cancel anytime, subscription. You simply click the signup link and enter your details to gain immediate access to all of our content totally free for 14 days.

If you decide FAQShop is not for you before the 14 days are up, simply cancel your subscription. No hard feelings.

If you decide to continue, you will automatically start to pay a recurring, low, monthly subscription fee, which you can cancel at any time to prevent paying for future months.



Just because we use PayPal to handle our payments doesn’t mean you need a PayPal Account to signup for your free trial/subscription.

We simply use PayPal to handle all our payments for both our security.

There are a lot of variables to be considered when it comes to pricing.

My hope would be the subscription price will not need to increase.

If it does, then all existing subscribers will be given at least 30 days notice of any increase. You can then decide if you want to cancel, or continue at the new price from the date it becomes effective.

Any other questions please contact us.

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